Hand Injuries: Baseball Finger or Mallet Finger

Baseball Finger (Mallet Finger) FAQs

What is Baseball or Mallet Finger? It is an injury that occurs to the fingertip that is caused by a sharp blow, or a jamming injury, to the fingertip. In this condition, the tendon that is responsible for straightening the tip of the finger is damaged, and you may not be able to straighten your finger. As this injury can often occur when catching a baseball, it is sometimes called baseball finger or mallet finger.

What are the symptoms of Baseball or Mallet Finger?

Pain and swelling at the end of the finger are the most common symptoms, coupled with an inability to straighten the finger completely. This could become a permanent condition if treatment is not sought early enough.

How is Baseball or Mallet Finger diagnosed?

A doctor who specializes in the hands, wrists and shoulders is the best person to diagnose this condition. The doctor will examine your finger and review your symptoms. An X-ray may be taken to rule out the presence of a fracture. Frequently, the tendon will pull off a piece of the bone to which it is attached at the end of your finger. Most injuries of this nature can be healed through rehabilitation. But if a large fracture of the bone has occurred, or the joint is misaligned, surgical repair may be required.

How is Baseball or Mallet Finger treated?

Assuming there is no fracture, the finger will need to be straightened and placed into a split to keep it stabilized. This splint may need to be worn up to 6 weeks. This will allow the tendon to reattach to the finger or, if a piece of bone has been pulled off, to allow the bone to heal. The finger will most likely be swollen, so ice packs should be applied for 20 to 30 minutes 3 to 4 times per day, or until the pain is gone. Your hand should be elevated on a pillow when you are lying down, or placed on the back of a chair or couch if you are sitting. Most injuries of this nature can be healed through rehabilitation.

When can I return to my sport or activity?

In general, the longer you have symptoms before you begin rehabilitation, the longer the time period of recovery. Returning to your sport or activity will be determined by your rate of healing, rather than a set number of days or weeks. If you return too soon you may worsen the injury, which could lead to permanent damage. Each person recovers at a different rate. The goal of rehabilitation is to get you back to full function as soon as it is safe for you to do so.

It is important for you to wear the splint for your mallet finger for at least 6 weeks after the injury. If you wear the splint as the doctor has recommended, you may be able to return to your activities sooner. Not wearing the splint could lead to permanent damage and deformity to the finger.

How can I prevent Baseball or Mallet Finger?

Usually the direct blow that causes mallet finger is accidental, so often these types of injuries are not preventable.

If you or someone you know is experiencing pain, stiffness, numbness or tingling in the hands, wrist, arm or shoulder, seek a consultation from Dr. Rehman. She will provide a full evaluation and workup to determine the exact cause of the problem, and her team of hand therapists will implement a comprehensive program to help you attain full recovery, range of motion and strength in the affected area. Contact Dr. Rehman today for more information.

Macomb County Baseball & Mallet Finger Doctor: 586-532-0803

Early Warning Signs of Trigger Finger

Early Warning Signs of Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is a very common condition. Odd things happen to our joints and our appendages as we get older. Sometimes these quirks can be ignored, and they work themselves out. But other times, it is best to take heed of what the body is trying to tell us.

Trigger finger is one such condition. Initially it may begin with stiffness of the finger in the morning. Typically it occurs in your dominant hand, with one finger involved, but sometimes multiple fingers or the thumb are affected.

Later, you will begin to notice a clicking or popping sensation when you move your finger. You may notice tenderness or a bump at the base of your palm.

As the condition progresses, the finger will pop back from a bent position, much like a trigger releasing. When the condition is at its worst, you may not be able to straighten the finger at all.

What Causes Trigger Finger?

Tendons allow the fingers to move, and attach the muscles of the hand to the bones in the hand. These tendons are covered by a protective sheath. When this sheath become irritated or inflamed, the normal gliding motion of the muscles is impeded. Sometimes a nodule or bump can form, and this protrusion can get caught on the edge of the tendon sheath. When it breaks free, the result is the popping or clicking of trigger finger as the finger straightens.

Who is at risk for Trigger Finger?

Women aged 40 to 60 are more at risk of developing this condition than men. People whose occupations or hobbies require repeated gripping are more likely to be affected, and individuals with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop trigger finger.

Treatment for Trigger Finger

Most treatment for trigger finger involves conservative methods such as resting the hands, applying cold packs and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. For more advanced problems, a corticosteroid injection may be performed, and specific occupational therapy exercises prescribed for remediation. Sometimes splinting of the finger is used, to keep the finger in the extended position at night for up to six weeks.

If the condition is severe, surgery could be required. This is typically performed in an outpatient operating room, and patients go home the same day. The surgeon makes a small incision in the palm of the hand, to cut the tendon sheath to allow the nodule to move freely. Most people can move their fingers freely following surgery, but soreness will be noticeable in the palm. Most of the recovery is complete within a few weeks, but physical therapy and exercises may be required to return the hand to full function over a period of several months.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms of trigger finger, reach out to a qualified orthopedic doctor, such as Dr. Rehman, for a full and complete evaluation. The hands and fingers are delicate appendages, and it is best to consult with a doctor who specializes in this area of the body. Dr. Rehman and her team of hand therapists are the best qualified to diagnose and prescribe treatment to return your hand to full range of motion and strength. And as always, early intervention is most likely to generate the most favorable outcome.

Macomb County Trigger Finger Doctor: 586-532-0803

How to Help Your Child Choose a Sport

How to Help Your Child Choose a Sport

Helping your child choose a sport

There’s a frenzy of activity as the ramp-up to the school year descends on families: school supplies, clothing, the perfect shoe, haircuts. All those details for the first day of school. But it’s not just the subjects your kids will be studying this year that are important; it’s the sports your children may want to pursue, that will impact their personality, and possibly even their health, for life.

In helping your child discover what sport he or she is interested in, keep these factors in mind:


If your son or daughter already has an interest in a particular sport, if he or she likes to watch it on TV or even live, this is a good first step. Enthusiasm and interest will go a long way toward making the sport a good fit for your child.


There are the traditional team sports like football, basketball, volleyball and soccer, but individual sports may appeal more to your child, depending on his or her personality and development. Sports like swimming, gymnastics, track, golf or tennis may allow your child to shine individually.

Social Skills

Commensurate with personality, his or her social skill development should be taken into account. Sports are a great way for shy and retiring kids to come out of their shells a bit, but a competitive atmosphere may be daunting. Sports can help kids build team building skills and confidence in their abilities.

Body Type

Children who are short and stocky may excel at football more readily than at basketball. Tall and lanky kids might do better in basketball or track. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but typically kids whose body type is conducive to the sport will meet earlier success, making the experience a positive one.

Time and Financial Commitment

If the practice schedule is grueling it may put too heavy a burden on the child. If parents have work or other weekend commitments that conflict with games, that sport may not be the best fit. Even the cost of equipment must be factored in when deciding which sport or sports your child wants to pursue.

Physical Health

All children should have an examination by a doctor and be given the “OK” to play whatever sport they choose. Sometimes unknown conditions can be aggravated by a particular sport, or a child may be more at risk of injury because of his or her physical development. So whatever sport your child chooses, be sure to get the all clear from a qualified health care professional before your child gets started.

Even in youth sports, injuries can occur. Watch your child carefully, as he or she may not want to miss practice or let team members down by being sidelined with an injury. If you notice signs of tingling, numbness or pain in your child’s hands, fingers, wrists, elbow or shoulder, contact Dr. Rehman for a full evaluation of the condition before you let your child continue. Many sports-related injuries are treatable with minimally invasive techniques, but long-term and permanent damage can occur if injuries are left untreated, especially in children who are still developing.

If anyone in your family is struggling with pain or discomfort, reach out to Dr. Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and an individualized program to help achieve full recovery, range of motion and strength in the affected area.

Getting Your Kids Up and Moving This Summer

Getting Your Kids Up and Moving This Summer

Summer is the perfect time to instill in your children the love and the fun of outdoor activities. There’s no doubt about it; kids are much more sedentary these days, and childhood obesity is a chronic problem.

Kids play outdoors much less now than decades ago, and many factors go into the equation. Parents often have concerns about kids playing outdoors without supervision, and with the hectic lifestyle of most two-worker families, parents don’t have the time. Poor coordination skills and cuts to school recess and sports programs may have an effect. Children are often encouraged to play safely indoors, without the worry of outdoor activities. They have a lot of entertainment available to them now on their screens, which unfortunately promotes sitting and inactivity.

But grab the waning days of summer and reverse this trend! A simple walk to the park after dinner as part of the family routine can build bonds, happiness and physical health. Outdoor hopscotch on the driveway, trips to the local nature center or the zoo, skateboarding parks and events and even bike riding can help kids breathe in fresh air and work their muscles, helping them sleep better at night too.

As parents, the more active you are, the better example you set for your children, and the more likely they are to embrace physical activities. Experts have found that if children just moved around for an hour each day, the obesity rate would fall. Beginning at a young age, involve your kids in age-appropriate physical activities. Let them choose what they would like to try, and if one activity doesn’t fit, move on.

Activity promotes wellness and wellness yields health and happiness. If you or someone you know is missing out due to pain, stiffness, numbness or tingling in the hands, arms, wrist or elbow, reach out to Dr. Rehman today. She will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the cause of the problem, and will design a comprehensive program to regain strength, mobility and range of motion. So you can get back out there and have outdoor fun with your family in the glorious remaining days of summer!